Historic and Downtown Standards

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Because Georgetown is rich in resources and offers an outstanding quality of life, it continues to attract development that challenges us to seek creative ways of protecting its character.  Preservation of the built environment not only provides a link to the past, but helps maintain the feel and way of life that makes Georgetown so attractive today. 

  • Interactive Map:   Check out our interactive map to see if your property is located on the Historic Resources Survey, in a Historic Overlay District or in a National Register District.

Historic Properties Interactive Map

  • Downtown and Old Town Historic Overlays: Two overlay districts were established by City Council to define areas that have unique development and design standards meant to preserve and retain the historic character of the buildings located within these overlays. The two overlays are the Downtown Overlay District and the Old Town Overlay District, depicted on the maps.

Downtown Overlay Map

Old Town Overlay Map

  • Downtown and Old Town Design Guidelines: The Downtown and Old Town Design Guidelines outline proper treatment and design options for historic and modern properties in downtown. Any modifications to existing historic properties, as well as new construction, additions and signs in the Downtown and Old Town Overlay Districts must follow the parameters set forth in this document. They were adopted in 2001 (revised in 2012) as one of the first products spurred by a commitment to the continued redevelopment of downtown.

Downtown and Old Town Design Guidelines

  • Certificate of Appropriateness(CoA): Plans for new construction or renovation of existing structures in the Historic Overlay Districts must be submitted to the Planning department. This includes changes to the building’s exterior, the building site, or signs. Detailed information on submission requirements for a Certificate of Appropriateness application can be found in the link below.

Section 3.13 of the UDC Certificate of Appropriateness

  • Historic and Architectural Review Commission (HARC): This Commission reviews plans for changes to buildings, sites, and signage within the Historic Overlay Districts prior to those changes being made. The Commission issues a Certificate of Appropriateness to approved modifications that are consistent with the Downtown Design Guidelines.  The Commission meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at 6 pm in the Council Chambers.

Historic and Architectural Review Commission (HARC) 

The agendas for these meetings are posted here: Agendas


If you are a prospective applicant within one of our Overlay Districts or have any questions, please contact the Historic District Planner.